Ray: To ensure housing is affordable, I support the proposed Smart Housing Mix ordinance from the City Planning Commission. I know that, if passed, it will secure affordable units for a number of new developments throughout the city. However, because our very culture is being threatened, I feel we must strengthen the proposed ordinance to extend the terms that units must be priced below market rates, and the number of units.In order to help keep residents in their properties, I will be a watchdog for Code Enforcement to ensure their office is not aggressively adding fines, fees, and penalties to homeowners who are making diligent efforts to keep their properties in a safe condition. I support the work of Councilmember Cantrell who discovered the misuse of funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund and saw that those funds would be properly used now to help homeowners make necessary repairs to their homes in order to bring them into compliance with Code Enforcement.
I have listened to residents and neighbors with regard to short-term rentals; whole home rentals have had a devastating impact on the very fabric and culture of New Orleans’ neighborhoods and the STR ordinance must be dramatically amended. In addition to the matter of whole home rentals, there is a feeling among neighborhood associations that the current ordinance unfairly protects one New Orleans neighborhood, while leaving the others at risk – this too, must be corrected. I will work on the Council to draft an ordinance that drastically limits whole home rentals, and ensures that all our neighborhoods and homeowners are treated fairly.
In District B, Central City is not only facing rising rental costs, but also has a noticeable number of blighted residential and commercial properties or vacant lots. I believe we, as a city, must do all we can to ensure neighborhoods like Central City – where I culture in large part, derives – does not lose any more units or properties to developers who will price out natives to those neighborhoods.
Banks: Affordable housing must be available. First, we must untie the restrictions on the thousands of the blighted houses throughout the city and use incentives to develop those properties into affordable housing units. Second, we work to freeze residential property assessments to not penalize long term residents because new residents have driven up property values.
Bloom: Our city is unique and vibrant, and the people who live here make it that way. We need to protect our residents and ensure they have safe and comfortable places to live. As a councilmember, I will work to create discourse between the council and the departments of Community Development, Economic Development, and HANO to find comprehensive solutions to housing. I will work with developers who are applying to build new structures, to create a percentage of housing units for working class and low-income residents, in accordance with proposals from the Smart Housing Mix policy. I plan to entice developers to do this by offering positive incentives, rather than enacting restrictive legislation, wherever possible.
Legislation to safeguard housing should not have the opposite effect: it should not serve to effectively de-incentivize development, but should encourage smart and responsible development to flourish by offering positive incentives that attract inclusive housing development. Having more economic opportunities available to residents will help us all succeed. I will lend my support to any effort to join together the varying interests of residents, government, developers, and community groups to create smart housing solutions.
To achieve this holistic approach to housing, I will work to ensure that business and economic leaders, those in the city's departments of Community Development, Economic Development, and HANO have the opportunity to hear from community stakeholders. Again, I will work hand-in-hand with city leadership to create incentives for development to provide residents with access to needed resources like transit, services like pharmacies and groceries, and recreational opportunities. I will place pressure on city governmental departments to work together to create comprehensive plans and requests for proposals that will address the needs of working people in our city.
Strumer: I am in favour of supporting our long term residents. I will strongly oppose any expansion of short term rentals. And I would strongly support stricter restrictions on the current level of short term rentals in favour of reducing the current number of short term rental properties. Apparently, most of the people who are in favour of short term rentals are the people who own the properties over the people who rent those properties. I also have a plan to change the estimated 30,000 blighted properties into vocational training grounds for youth of the City. These children will receive training in every aspect of home construction and repair from floors to roofs, plumbing, carpentry, electrical tile work, and more. Not everyone wants to go to college. Everyone should have an opportunity to receive good job training.
A. The City gains 1,000s of affordable housing units.
B. Children learn a vocation, which willhelp them secure a job in their futures from which they can support themselves and families.
C. The journeymen and master craftsmen get paid of teaching the youths.
D. Blighted properties are replaced with usable homes for low income, first time home buyers, Section 8 housing, and musicians.
Love: Solving the affordable housing problem in New Orleans requires multiple strategy approach to address the different needs of the different communities and people affected. Understanding that one strategy will not solve this problem is crucial, many city planners, current leaders and candidates fail to recognize this very simple principle. My action plan is as follows:
• I will start with a comprehensive analysis that includes total housing costs, i.e. utilities, taxes and maintenance; transportation costs; and short- and long-term impacts that affect housing cost.
• I will create programs that provide support for lower-income households to repair and maintain their homes coupled with creating a protection from taxes on the increase in value. This is one of the most impactful strategies.
• I will work to remove unjustified restrictions and costs for urban infill development, this is generally the most cost-efficient and beneficial option overall, but is challenging due to local opposition, and because its benefits are widely dispersed.
• I will create legislation and promote limited equity co-ops this strategy is not only a permanent -- at minimum a long-term – solution for affordable housing but it will also transition vulnerable renters into home owners.
Lastly, I will create opportunities through my economic development platform that promote worker-owned-businesses, cultural-co-operatives and higher paying jobs to drive the earning potential up for New Orleanians.
Ben-Oluwole: I am very much in support of stronger short-term rental regulation and enforcement. I am also interested in incentivizing home ownership among long-term residents and working class people who now rent. In terms of those who prefer to rent, I would support real estate tax deductions or freezes for landlords who rent to working class citizens at below market rates.